Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Good Samaritan

Yesterday proved to be an interesting day. During my early morning walk with my dog we found a man's wallet on the sidewalk. You know me and my looking for man droppings. I was attracted to a card on the ground, which I thought might be the phone cards so many people use. Many times they have interesting displays on the front. As I drew nearer to the card I saw the wallet and was actually astonished. Immediately I looked to see if there was a driver's license and before I had walked very far I was dialing information on my cell phone. The young man lived in the DC area. The operator connected me to what I thought was the number for the name and address I gave her. I left a message on their answering machine and waited for a return call.

In the meantime I decided the sooner I mailed this wallet back to its address the quicker the owner would be able to use his identification. I couldn't imagine in today's world how many hoops he would have to go through to get his identifications. I looked again and saw a card sticking out that said "student". Come to find out he was a law student at the local college. I gave the Dean of Students his student I.D. number and she emailed him. We arranged to take the wallet to the law school and leave it with the front desk. Amazingly enough the student did not know he had lost his wallet.

Later in the day another man called me with a similar name. He expressed a fear that I was running a scam. I relayed to him that I had surely found a wallet but it must belong to his son. Along with his reply "I only have a 15-year old daughter" came a name calling of "You must be a good samaritan." He seemed surprised to think someone would go to so much "trouble" to return a stranger's wallet. I realize we all have to be very cautious but always open to a blessing from a stranger. He then stated he lived in Maryland and his number was unlisted. I thought how funny - the lengths we all go to for privacy and to be left alone or not bothered but somewhere that information is just sitting waiting to be delivered into cyberspace to who-knows-where. I could have retorted back "well my number is unlisted and now you have it and my cell number, too." But that was not my focus. This reminded me of the story in the Bible about the good samaritan who not only bandaged up the wounded man left on the highway but made sure he had a warm place to stay until he passed through the area again. And he paid the man's debt in-full until he recovered. How many of us would be willing to do that today?

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